News of the WeekMaterials Science

Stretching Horizons for Electrical Devices

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Science  04 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5454, pp. 783
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5454.783a

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Researchers have found that a rubbery acrylic used to stick widgets to refrigerators triples its length when squeezed with high voltage. Known as a dielectric elastomer, the stuff has shattered the standard for electrically induced elongation, they report on page 836. The acrylic and its stretchy silicone brethren might someday control video displays, animate small robots, or power artificial limbs.